Your people are, without a doubt, your greatest asset. As Jim Collins so eloquently put it in his book entitled Good to Great, ”To be successful, you have to get the right people on the bus with you”….and as I like to say, you need to be the person with the steering wheel in your hands.
So just how do you drive this process? And how do you ensure that current and prospective employees share your company’s values, personality, ethics, culture, and the all-important vision? I always recommend that leaders facilitate and develop an “OGRP” (on-going recruiting program), proper job descriptions, and then an interview process that works. Remember, it is very expensive to continually turn-over employees (estimated 40% of the position’s annual salary).
Most businesses get in the habit of hiring people when they need them TOMORROW, rather than recruiting people all the time and having a pool of ready to go prospects. If you’re not good at recruiting or interviewing, get some help. Here’s what I recommend you look for:
- People with track records of success.
- Talent that matches to the position (don’t rely on resume data only).
- Emotionally engaged people.
- People with the ability to learn.
- Positive thinking people (if their glass is half empty, so will be their productivity results)
- People that want to grow and be developed.
- People that will accept coaching and the challenges that come with it.
Now prospecting for people that possess the above qualities is not an easy task (hence why it needs to be ongoing and why you may want to consider using someone experienced to help you). Here are some good tips for prospecting:
- Offer an employee bonus for referring candidates to you.
- Target companies that have announced cutbacks.
- Consider retirees (this is a rich source of motivated and talented people).
- Consider recruiting in markets where high concentrations of people are moving from.
- Consider recruiting some of your vendors who sell to you- many times, they know your business as well as you do.
- Work with universities, colleges and technical schools.
- Constantly network .
When it comes to interview time, preparing for the interview is critical. Also, having the right team of people involved in the interview process is a must. Preparing for an interview should look something like this:
- Review and understand the job description.
- Develop questions based on the job description and expectations, designed to bring out answers that require follow-up questions.
- Develop questions designed to find out if the candidate meets your list of “must haves”.
- Be prepared to ask the candidate for copies of designed work; a “show me” approach that you require when calling back for a follow-up interview.
Okay, so now it’s show time. We will go into this much deeper in a future column but for now, here is how you should plan your interview to go:
- The open: put the candidate at ease and build rapport.
- The body: ask your questions, and then listen.
- The close: allow both sides to summarize and agree on the next steps.
Recruiting and hiring the most important assets in your company is sometimes put on the back burner, and it is one of the main reasons businesses fail and/or have major cash flow issues. If you follow the steps given to you today, there is no doubt you will improve in these areas.